Local advocates call on state to back off of ACA lawsuit


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The fight over the Affordable Care Act has moved from Congress to the courthouse.

Republican efforts to repeal the law failed, so President Trump is asking the courts to overturn it.

Local advocates say if that happens, Utahns stand to lose.

“Just under 200,000 people, Utahns, use the Affordable Care Act for healthcare. So, if you take the Affordable Care Act away, instantly those people do not have health insurance,” said Courtney Bullard with Utah Health Policy Project.

She also says about one-million Utahns will also lose protection for pre-existing conditions.

Utah is one of 18 states to join the administration in the lawsuit, while 17 others have joined forces for a counter-suit.

Local advocates are coming together with a message of their own.

“We are asking Attorney General Reyes to pull out of the case that is trying to get the ACA taken away from Utah families and families all around the nation,” Bullard said.

It’s been a battle ever since the law was pushed through along party lines.

Some say it needs to go.

“Obamacare is basically trying to patch up problems that are there with even bigger problems. If we really wanted to help 15 million folks there [were] easier ways to deal with that,” said State Auditor John Dougall.

Others are skeptical of those “easier ways.”

“We’ve never seen anything viable from Republicans in Congress. Why in the world would you want to get rid of the ACA and have it declared unconstitutional when there is nothing to replace it with?” said Representative Brian King, (D) Salt Lake City.

The Attorney General’s Office has no comment on the lawsuit.

We’ll continue this conversation on the next Inside Utah Politics.

You can catch the show on Sunday at 8 a.m. or download the Inside Utah Politics podcast.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...